The firm Earth Mechanics, Inc. (EMI) was initially founded in February 1989 by two principals who worked together on foundation designs for coastal and offshore structures for oil companies worldwide. Many of the structures were supported on deep foundations and are located in highly seismic areas. After the downturn in the oil-and-gas market in the early to mid-1980's, they switched their project emphasis to bridges in California. This transition was logical because many bridges are supported on deep foundations and California has severe seismic vulnerabilities.

Today, the firm consists of four working principals and many highly trained geotechnical engineers and geologists to provide quality services. EMI holds the record of providing geotechnical and foundation design services for seismic retrofitting of over 1,000 bridges in California, including seven of the nine state-owned toll bridges. Over the last 15 years, EMI has also provided geotechnical services for numerous roadway, railway, tunnel, and port projects in California and other states.